The age old derby with its unique veneration gave football fans in the country and worldwide an impeller to troop to the stadium or stay glued to their set with rapt concentration. The battle of the big two in the country at the nation’s wembley was the key highlight of match week 8 in the Ghana premier league. Six games were honoured on Saturday to pave way for the all-important and biggest fixture on the local calendar.
Ebusua Dwarfs needed a performance from the top drawer to put the breaks on all firing league leaders Aduana Stars. Rightly so they executed the task with aplomb to outscore the Dormaa based team in 2-1 thriller at the Cape Coast stadium.
Elmina Sharks piled more misery on Ashgold as they beat them by a lone goal at the Nduom stadium in Edina.
Great Olympics coming back on the valuable 3 points won in the board room nearly pulled the biggest surprise of the week but for Bismarck Oppong’s late equalizer at the T and A in Tarkwa. Olympics lead for greater periods of the game but Medeama SC roared back late on to leave it all squared.
West Africa Football Academy were at their scintillating best at home as they dispatched off Berekum Chelsea in a convincing 2-0 victory.
Bolga All Stars showed tough mental strength on the back of points dock to force a 2-1 win over FA cup champions Bechem United at home.
Liberty Professionals and champions Wa All Stars played out an uninspiring goalless drawn game in Dansoman with very little to choose the two sides.
JINX BROKEN IN A DÉJÀ VU FASHION
A game fit for the gods with a tempestuous intensity of a bout of fisticuffs. A rivalry which transcends the football on the pitch to the most trivial battle you can fathom was upon us over the weekend.
The biggest two in Ghana, Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko locked horns in a titanic duel at the Ohene Djan Sports stadium. There was everything to play for as both teams tried to rile each other into making errors with pre game gimmicks and in game antics just to gain the all important bragging rights for the umpteenth.
Hearts resorted to falling onto the pitch like withered leaves just to subside Kotoko’s early pressure and intensity. This drew a lot of incensed emotion from the Kotoko following with jeers and boos whilst the Hearts section enjoyed the antics amid enthusiastic cheers. This lighted the atmosphere and got the arena heated like the furnace in the belly of a dragon.
Kotoko came into the game having dominated the fixture on this ground for well over 8 years scoring 7 and conceding only 2 before this game. Hearts on the other hand had been on the wrong side of results for far too and were poised to break their duck no matter what.
Asante Kotoko took the game to Hearts of Oak from the blast of the whistle and dominated the early exchanges with some crisp passing and interpositional play. Nimble footed Emmanuel Gyamfi was the star man as Kotoko continued to probe for the early goal. Hearts were still yet to wake up from their reverie and it took a point blank save from Samuel Akurugu to deny Yakubu from breaking the deadlock on the half hour mark. Hearts only managed a feeble Samudeen Ibrahim shot on target for the whole of the first department.
The first half ended goalless and Kotoko will live to rue their misses opportunities in the first half. The introduction of Patrick Razak at the start of the second half brought some life in the Hearts play sending jitters through the Kotoko following anytime he was in possession. The Hearts resurgence meant Kotoko were pegged more often in the second half than they found themselves in the first.
The moment of glory for Hearts came when referee Samuel Suker adjudged Kotoko defender Ahmed Adams to have blocked Sam Yeboah’s goal bound shot with his upper arm. Vincent Atinga stepped up and sent goalkeeper Felix Annan the wrong way to send the home fans into a frenetic ecstasy. Coincidentally the last Hearts win over Kotoko at the Ohene Djan was from a Samuel Afum penalty on that same spot, déjà vu!!!
The roar that followed the final whistle was one of a big relief from the phobia fraternity. It had been a roller coaster 8 seasons for them without a win on their home turf over their bitterest rivals.
The roof couldn’t have been raised any better with loud cheers, singing and dancing in the post game. Could you begrudge the vociferous Hearts following? A jinx broken after 229 219 200 seconds, 3 820 320 minutes, 63 672 hours, 2653 days, 379 weeks emit every bit of such a reaction.
By: Kwame Owusu Ansah